Sunday, December 30, 2007

Home for a Moment

We're alive. Exhausted, but alive. I've spent more time in a car with J.R. in the past few days then I ever care to again. And I thought driving home from D.C. was bad!

We may have had a shitty Christmas last year, but we've more than made up for that this season. There are stories to share and pictures to post. However, the craziness wont be over until after tomorrow so for now it's time to sleep (IN MY OWN BED!!!) and warm up after spending the entire day outside.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Stopping by to wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope everyone remains safe in the holiday season. Hard to believe that a year ago I was on my way to Walter Reed to see J.R. for the first time. How time flies.

As a side note... Remember to be kind to the retail slaves as you finish your shopping or begin returning. We're all putting in long hours!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

It's Been A Long Week

Oh what a very long week it has been. I've been itching to sit down and right but everytime I stop moving, I fall asleep. It happens.

Monday marked the end of the semester for me. I delievered my final speech with only one complication.. my visuals. I was silly in thinking that my toshiba laptop would work just the same as the hp laptop Stout provides every student. Wrong. I had a gorgeous powerpoint complete with pictures and information and I did not have the knowledge to use my toshiba. With no memory stick and a file to large to attach in an e-mail, I had to delete every photo slide. I e-mailed the presentation to myself and managed to pull everything up on the hp just in time to present. At least I still had SOME visual aid even if it was just the bare boned info slides. After class finished I received my grade for the previous speech. A!!! I was pretty geeked about that and felt it was a nice way to end the semester. Now I just have to wait and see what the final speech grade is and I'll know my grade for the class.

Tuesday came and went with a blink of an eye. I honestly don't even remember what happened on Tuesday.

Wednesday came fast and marked one year since J.R. had been injured. We woke early in the morning and got ourselves all dressed up. After one last meeting J.R. had with a professor, we jumped in the car and drove to Hayward for his Uncle's funeral. As we drove further and further north all my mind could think about was the drive I made one year ago to tell J.R.'s parents he had been injured. How ironic that on the one year anniversary of his injury we would be making another dreadful drive north to say goodbye to Bobo. I was not expecting this funeral to be as hard as it was for me. Throughout the service I kept thinking about the phone call I had received last year and how scary everything had been. I came so close to saying goodbye to J.R. last year. As we sat in the church saying our goodbyes we listened to the 30 point buck and the tears rolled down all of our faces. I cried for Bobo, I cried for the pain that the family is feeling, and I cried for J.R.

After the funeral we booked it back down to Menomonie. We ran inside and grabbed every Army duffle we could find, loaded the car, and got back on the road. We were heading into the cities to turn in J.R.'s army gear. It was crazy to turn in all of his gear on the year anniversary. In a way it was almost like being cleansed and finally closing this chapter of our life. Finally we are free of any debts we had to the Army and we really are retired. It was bittersweet. Before we left the armory we snapped one final picture and I think it was a good one.

Following the gear turn in we made our way to an italian resturant in St. Paul. We met up with a bunch of the guys from J.R.'s unit and celebrated his Alive day. We drank, we talked, we drank some more, we laughed, and we had a great time. We talked about what life was like a year ago and we were thankful that we were all still standing in the same room able to lift our glasses and say a big "F-you Iraq and F-you Iran. You can blow us up but you still can't defeat our spirit." Life is good.

Wednesday was a long day. We felt every emotion from grief, to anger, to joy. At the end of the day we were both exhausted and glad to be crawling into our nice warm bed.

Thursday brought a whole new headache. I worked from 1-9 and overall it was a good day. After closing the store Dyana and we began the walk to our cars. As I approached my car I noticed something laying on the ground next to my car door. At first I thought it was a Mcdonalds bag that someone had thrown out of their door and left in the parking lot, but as I approached I realized it was far worse. Someone had taken a small animal, tied it's legs in bailing twine, skinned it (even the head), then cut of the genitals and laid them next to the body all in front of my car door. At first I thought it was a small dog. I yelled at Dyana and she freaked out. She eventually shut herself in her car and refused to leave her seat. She rolled her window down and kept telling me to leave. Lucky for me at this moment the man locking the mall doors made his way to the entry we were at. I shouted at him and he came over and checked things out. He kept asking if I had an ex-lover who was pissed off at me. Not knowing what to do he told me to head home and he would take care of it. Before I left I snapped a couple of pictures just in case we would be needing them later. Being that these images are very graphic, I'm not posting them.

It later turned up that the animal was some kind of a possom or something. I went in with my pictures and spoke with the mall manager yesterday. They kept asking if I felt that I was being targetted in any way. I don't feel that I was a victim here. The animal wasn't placed on my car or tied to my car. I think it was someone with way to much time on their hands who felt like creeping out some people. I'm glad that the mall management is showing concern over the safety of their employees. Now if I could just get Dyana to stop freaking out.

Yesterday J.R's cousin Leslie stopped in for a visit. It was a nice relaxing night. We all went and had dinner and some margaritas. We then came home and sat in front of the TV all night. It was a great end to a very crazy and emotionally draining week.

Today we have been lounging and eventually we have to get moving and finish our Christmas shopping. I'm not looking forward to this, but it's got to get done. The upcoming week brings nonstop travel time. I work Sunday and Monday. After work on Monday evening we will be heading up to Hayward to celebrate Christmas. The 26th we will be driving to Michigan to celebrate with my family and on the 30th we have to be back in Wisconsin to attend the Packers vs. Lions game. I'll be freezing my ass off and loving every minute of it.

For now it's time to find the shower and get J.R. motivated to finish shopping.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Is It Friday Yet?

There has been a loss in the family this weekend. J.R.'s uncle passed away unexpectedly Saturday morning. The upcoming week will be long. Finals are here, the one year anniversary is here, and we're both tired.

There is a spider that has made it's home on my living room ceiling. I hate spiders. J.R. wont smush it for me and I'm to exhausted to even really care that it's up there.

I just have to make it through the next sixteen hours and then I'm done with school for the semester. Then all I have to do is get J.R. through the week.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Invasion of the Asian

Two days ago I stole J.R.'s shoe. I was attempting to be sneaky but was caught in the act. Go figure. When confronted about WHY I stole one of his shoes I told him it was needed to squash a bug. I was then told that it's to cold for bugs and they're no longer in the apartment.

Well tonight I would like to take a moment to point out that even when it's 5 degrees out the invasion of the asian is still continuing. Here is my proof.

Now I know the picture sucks. Bear with me guys, I've temporarily misplaced my nice camera and I had to use my phone. However, this is a picture of a lovely asian ladybug that is still living in my home. I know my apartment is cozy but seriously, what does this thing eat?! How the hell is this thing STILL alive? Just when I thought I had killed them all another one appears.

In other news, Project Runway was a major bust tonight. I'm not a happy camper. They kept the spit queen and cut the sane designer. Idiots. In other news, the hot gay man had to leave the show and to make up for this they brought back the fun gay man. There was drama, there were tears, there were horribly ugly outfits. God I love this show. We can blame Cheri for my addiction to PR. She got me hooked on the competition last year when J.R. was deployed. It is the one tv show that I watch religiously. Even J.R. knows that it's on every Wednesday at 10/9 central and that at this time he must hand over the remote and keep his mouth shut. He'll probably never admit it, but he does enjoy the show... at least in my own little delusional mind he loves the show.

Make It Work!

Shhhhh.... Project Runway is on :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Today has been a roller-coaster. I slept in till 9 this morning and then laid in bed another hour. It was wonderful. I love that the semester is winding down and I have some added time to do that. On Monday I will be finished with this semester and my Christmas break will officially begin.

Unfortunately the happy feeling faded fast as J.R. ran into the apartment hollering that people were coming over. Not funny. The place was a dump. Paperwork everywhere and just general clutter scattered all over. I was not ready to be entertaining a group of students. So I jumped out of bed, took a shower, and began a frantic pick up party.

After I was sure J.R. had things under control I went to the car to head for Eau Claire. I desperately had to go to the bank and I wanted to pick up a couple Christmas presents. As I took my foot of the brake my car sprang to life. It instantly flew backwards and ran into the trailer parked behind me. The trailer won. My bumper is now scared with a large L shaped crack. Now this whole car problem started a couple weeks ago. The engine is revving on it's own making it very difficult to stop the car. When you only have a few feet between you and a trailer... there's just no hope. I'm not happy.

I made my way to Eau Claire safe and sound but very pissed off. I got through the bank and was off to the mall. I managed to find presents for both of our Moms that I think are perfect. It put me in a better mood knowing I had the two hardest people to shop for out of the way. Looking for another pick me up I stopped at Gloria Jeans on the way out of the mall and grabbed an iced raspberry mocha.. aka heaven in a cup.

Since my return home I've finished the cleaning and I feel so much better just hanging out in the apartment. Being able to see the floor and the table is such a stress relief. I can actually RELAX on my couch now. Plus finding the floor allowed me to have enough space to wrap the Christmas presents. I love to wrap. J.R. thinks this is a wasted use of time. If it was up to him he would throw the gift in a paper bag and hand it over. Must be a man thing. If he knew how much I spent on wrapping supplies he would probably kill me. Now if I could just get a bigger tree...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hello, My Name Is...

So I'm standing in line waiting to check in to get my blood drawn this morning. The hospital was jammed with a bunch of little kids who were all getting blood drawn. Lots of tears were being shed as no one was happy to be getting poked, including myself. I finally made my way to the counter and half way through the check in process the girl looks up and goes...

"Oh, you're J.R.'s wife."

"Umm.. yeah. And you are???"

"Oh I went to school with J.R."

Great. I'm meeting someone that J.R. went to school with and I haven't even showered for the day. I wasn't even dressed in real clothes for the day! Sweat pants and a sweat shit, hat on my head, no makeup, and half asleep still. Why do you always meet people on days you look like death?

I'm going to go shower now and find some real clothes.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Lazy Days

My alarm went off at 7:45 this morning. I was going to church. I was going to get out of bed, get all snazzed up, and go sing Christmas songs. Then I looked at the thermometer next to the bed... 5. 5!!!! No way in hell. I rolled over and snuggled back up to my warm hubby and fell back asleep. Sorry God... I was not made for cold weather.

I slept until 9:30. I beat J.R. up. I laid in bed with him for an hour just watching him sleep. Slightly creepy I'm well aware of that. I curled up in his arms and let my mind wander in thoughts of the last year. The phone call, the first few days in the hospital, our room at the Fisher House. The sights, smells, and noises of D.C. all came rushing through my mind. It's a lot to reflect on and at times can be very overwhelming. I had no more than started to get into my deep trance when J.R. opened his eyes and said good morning. After a few minutes he looked over at me and asked me to go grab my laptop and our new favorite movie... Escanaba in Da Moonlight.

Now if you haven't seen this movie... rent it. Especially if you're from Michigan or Wisconsin and you are willing to laugh at yourself. We curled up in bed and laughed all morning. It was the perfect start to a Sunday.

Half-way through the movie we were starving. We hit pause and off to the kitchen we ran to make waffles. As we got breakfast ready I called my Mom to ask her for the pasties recipe (they talk about pasties in the movie and it brought on a craving from me). While talking to her on the phone I looked out the window. Truck... check. X-terra... check. Alero.... ummm... alero?!?!?!

"J.R. where is my alero? Did you move it last night???"

"No, why the hell would I move your car. It's right where you left it."

"No.. no it's not. J.R. where is my car? I left it right next to the garage, I'm positive. Are you sure you didn't move it?"

"Yes I'm sure."

"What the hell! Where is my car!!!"

At this point I wise up and hit the garage button. There inside the garage is my alero. J.R. went into a fit of laughter. He laughed to the point he was CRYING! He was so proud of himself.

"You really thought your car was gone. Who would steal that piece of shit? Seriously... you should have seen your face Jo. You really thought it was gone."

He just thinks he is so funny. My poor Mom had to listen to all of this. I snapped the towel at him a couple times but he just kept on laughing. I think he went on for a good twenty minutes. He stopped long enough to shovel waffles into his mouth and finish the movie.

After the movie I jumped in the shower and got my running shoes on. With no groceries in the house I could no longer put off the trip to Wal-Mart. It was a mad house inside. I even had to brave the Christmas section to get wrapping paper (I LOVE to wrap). Now even my love of wrapping paper couldn't keep me distracted from some of the idiots in the store. There were of course your usual aisle hogging customers. You know.. the ones that walk down the middle of the aisle at a snails pace while you try to somehow pass them. There were the penny pincher's debating over which box of noodles was a better deal (seriously.. two cents more wont kill you.. pick a box). And of course there is the cereal aisle. Now I don't eat cereal just so I can avoid this aisle, but J.R. is in love with anything chocolate and sugary. So... down the aisle I went only to get stuck behind the soccer mom with three kids. None of the kids could agree on which cereal should be the choice for the week. It was not pretty.

Later in my shopping excursion I had the pleasure of being introduced to a new Wal-Mart character. I'm going to call this one the "try before you buy" shopper. Here I am walking through the pop section. In front of me are two women who are in their early 30's. As they pass the flavored water one of them grabs a bottle, cracks it open, and takes a drink.

"OMG THIS IS HORRIBLE! I can't believe anyone would drink this. Here try this."

After the second woman tries the beverage she replaced the cap and placed the flavored water back on the shelf and the pair walked off.

I stood there just staring at the bottle in complete disbelief. I now know WHY products have a quality seal.

I checked out and returned home to begin cleaning. I've managed to completely catch up on laundry, and find my kitchen again. I now have to finish the bedroom and the living room. The office... lets not talk about the office. That is a never ending project. As for now it's time for a bag of popcorn and a glass of milk. All and all not a bad Sunday.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Parking Ticket

Knowing a bartender in this town is wonderful. Knowing a bartender who will give you free drinks... even better.

So last night J.R. and I decided to stop in at our favorite local bar and grab a drink. We were hoping to run into a fellow logroller but she was nowhere to be seen. So we grabbed some food and I polished off my first drink. Before I had even eaten the cherry garnish my friend the bartender had a refill in front of me. Thirty minutes after the second drink it was clear that I was not going to be driving home.

"Hey... how much booze did you put in this?? I should not be this drunk off of two of these..."

"Oh, I guess I should have told you I doubled the booze in your drinks."

"OOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo... that makes a little more sense..."

So off we went. One incredibly hyper, incredibly trashed Josie with her handsome (but crabby) hubby. On the way home we stopped by another bar so I could run in and say hi to some girlfriends. J.R. was not entertained but went along.




Apparently this is not J.R.'s style. After ten minutes and one very quick drink for me (hey.. girls drink free for an hour every Thursday night at this bar) we made our way BACK to the first bar to find the hubby's phone. With phone in hand it was time for home.

Now let me tell you... freezing rain+high heals+booze=DANGER

I managed to slide my way into the apartment without falling, but for a second I thought I was doomed.

It didn't take long for me to fall asleep. The plan was to sleep it off for a while and then go back downtown to pick up my car that was still parked on the street. Yeah, that didn't happen. Apparently I was perfectly content in the nice warm bed and the thought of going outside in the negative double digit weather just wasn't working for me. So at 7:45 this morning we dragged ourselves out of bed and returned to my vehicle. There attached to my door in all of it's lime green glory.... was a parking ticket.

Fifteen bucks! FIFTEEN!!!! With the amount of money I have donated to the City of Menomonie in the parking meters, I could feed the entire Army for a YEAR and now a parking ticket! To put the frosting on the cake there is a $2.50 processing fee when you pay it online. And if you don't pay the ticket within 48 hours they suspend the registration to your vehicle. Parking Nazis.

So anyway, lesson learned. My 17.50 payment to Menomonie was probably the price of my drinks that I got for free. And as Mom pointed out this morning they didn't tow my car. I can just imagine how that would have gone over with J.R. His face would have been so red. I can just HEAR the lecture in my head. "Jo seriously, what were you thinking? The sign is posted right there. NO PARKING 2-7. Now we have to go get your car, pay a million dollars, and it's Christmas time. You had two drinks. What's wrong with you. You're such a lightweight. When I was your age (I always love it when he starts this) I drank Dr. Pepper and whiskey and I was fine..." All the while I would be sitting in the car mocking him. It's actually kind of a funny thought. We're such a loving couple :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Life Coach

Since waking up this morning I have done absolutely nothing. NOTHING. Sure there is plenty of stuff that needs to be completed, but I have no drive to actually accomplish anything. This is just one more sign that I need a vacation. Someplace warm, with no snow (Fiji?!).

Anyway, as I've sat at my computer chair doing absolutely nothing, I stumbled across the blog of a "certified life coach." Here is the pitch....

1. Who are you?

2. What do you want?

3. How will you get there?

Answer these questions honestly and you will be on the path to living a life you love!
If you don't know...then you may be ready to begin the discovery with one on one life coaching sessions.

What a bunch of bullshit.

1. Who we are as a person is CONSTANTLY changing. Everyday we are learning new lessons, reading new stories, meeting new people. Everything we do impacts us in one way or another which in turn changes our views and ideas on life all the time.

2. What we want isn't always what we get and for me.. it's always changing. But I certainly don't need a life coach to tell me that I want a long and happy marriage, or that I want a dog, or that I want a degree.

3. What's the point of having a plan on how to get there? Shit happens, LIFE happens. If you are stuck to this ridged guideline of how to accomplish a goal you may miss out on some other part of life. For instance, I want a degree. IF I had stayed at MSU for four straight years I may not have married J.R. and I would be in a completely different spot in life. I followed a different path than the one I set out to take, but I'm still accomplishing my goal and I feel that I'm better prepared this time around. Planning is overrated.

Life coach... seriously people...

Moving on...

I had a dream last night that I woke up and the snow had all melted. Reality... it's still there. I've been staring at it all morning and I have this urge to go throw my snow pants on, run outside, and make a snow angle. Maybe a snow man too.

Today I'm going to finish my Christmas decorating. Really I am. I've been saying this for a week or so now and it never happens but today is the day. The little tree is coming out, the decorations are going on, and J.R. is going to get in the holiday spirit god damn it.

As for now it's time to go make a cup of hot chocolate, sit on the couch, and knit ONE square for the baby blanket I'm working on. When I finish the project it will be one gift down leaving FOUR more baby presents to go.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

We Will Never Forget

Today we remember Sgt Nicholas Turcotte. He was a friend to many and a wonderful soldier. May we never forget his sacrifice.

February 17, 1983 - December 4, 2006

Monday, December 3, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside

As I ran around work yesterday, my Franco Sarto black knee high boots rubbed a small raw spot on the back of my leg. I place a band-aid over the area and continued my work day. I returned home late last night, peeled my boots off, and made my way to the couch. Completely forgetting about the band-aid I snuggled in for a night of relaxation.

As I awoke from a night of choppy sleep I rolled out of bed and stumbled into the shower. After five minutes of simply standing in the shower while attempting to wake up I looked down and noticed the band-aid still clinging to my leg. Half awake I grabbed the band-aid and yanked it off my leg. Pain. Lots and lots of pain. If I wasn't awake before I grabbed the band-aid.. I definitely was after ripping it off. Just one more reminder that I should shave my legs sometime this winter.


I've decided that if J.R. gets to grow a beard to "blend in with the trees," then I can have hairy legs to help keep me warm. I mean seriously... have you looked at the weather for Menomonie, Wi??? It's NINE degrees outside. That's nine degrees without the windchill. Don't forget about the million (and by million I mean eight) inches of snow we got on Saturday. I needed those hairy legs to keep me warm when I was shoveling my car out at midnight after the snow plow buried it. And tomorrow we'll get to do this all again when another three to five inches falls.

Fiji or bust.. that's all I have to say.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Are We There Yet????

19 days until I'm done with the semester. 19. Not that I'm counting.